Sweden hands over command of EU NAVFOR FHQ to France and Belgium

At a cer­e­mo­ny in Dji­bouti on board the EU NAVFOR Swedish war­ship, HSwMS CARLSKRONA, Force Com­man­der Rear Admi­ral (LH) Jan Thörn­qvist who has been the Force Com­man­der of EU NAVFOR Oper­a­tion ATALANTA for the last four months, hand­ed over to Rear Admi­ral Philippe Coin­dreau of France. He will lead the multi­na­tion­al Force Head­quar­ters onboard the EU NAVFOR French war­ship DE GRASSE for the next four months.

On Sat­ur­day 14 August the hand over took place on board HSwMS CARLSKRONA and the Com­man­ders exchanged infor­ma­tion regard­ing Oper­a­tion ATALANTA. DE GRASSE now becomes the new flag­ship of the Euro­pean Union Naval Force – Oper­a­tion ATALANTA. HSwMS CARLSKRONA will remain as a unit with­in EU NAVFOR until Novem­ber.

EU NAVFOR has in this four month peri­od dis­rupt­ed more than twen­ty Pirate Action Groups and con­fis­cat­ed a vast amount of pirate para­pher­na­lia – stop­ping more than 250 sus­pect­ed pirates from con­duct­ing attacks. We have con­duct­ed 11 World Food Pro­gramme escorts which have deliv­ered 90 000 met­ric tons of food aid”, said Swedish Rear Admi­ral Jan Thörn­qvist, and con­tin­ued: “I here­by want to wel­come and con­grat­u­late my relief, Rear Admi­ral Philipe Coin­dreau, his deputy Cap­tain Michel Hof­man, their FHQ Staff and the ship’s com­pa­ny on board DE GRASSE to EU NAVFOR and Oper­a­tion ATALANTA.”

The new EU NAVFOR Force Com­man­der, Rear Admi­ral Philippe Coin­dreau thanked Rear Admi­ral Jan Thörn­qvist and stat­ed. ”On board DE GRASSE we will, for four months, do our best to con­tin­ue the suc­cess­ful work of Admi­ral Thörn­qvist in sup­port of the objec­tives of EU NAVFOR Oper­a­tion ATALANTA: the pro­tec­tion of ves­sels of the World Food Pro­gramme (WFP) deliv­er­ing food aid to dis­placed per­sons in Soma­lia, pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble ves­sels, deter­ring and pre­vent­ing acts of pira­cy and armed rob­bery off the Soma­li coast.”

EU NAVFOR Soma­lia – Oper­a­tion ATALANTA’s main tasks are to escort mer­chant ves­sels car­ry­ing human­i­tar­i­an aid of the World Food Pro­gram (WFP) and ves­sels of African Union Mis­sion in Soma­lia (AMISOM), and to pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble ves­sels in the Gulf of Aden and Indi­an Ocean, and to deter and dis­rupt pira­cy. EU NAVFOR also mon­i­tors fish­ing activ­i­ty off the coast of Soma­lia.


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